I think Rourke put on an amazing performance in The Wrestler, but look at the role: washed up career? check. Muscle-bound gross body? check. Drug issues? check check. Yes, he was perfect in his role, but can we at least accept he was perfect for the role. It really took no stretch as an actor for Rourke to pull this off. And while I do not want to take away from his performance, Sean Penn clearly stepped outside his comfort zone (as, honestly, he has done for much of his career) and made us believe for 2 hours that he was a gay activist in San Fransisco. He created a world that was not his and played a role that couldn’t be farther from himself. In short, he acted. And he did a damn great job of it.